Pittsburgh Steelers Linked To Star Pass Rusher In Free Agency

Justin Madubuike
Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Pittsburgh Steelers poach a star pass rusher from an AFC North division rival?

Rob Gregson of A to Z Sports outlines a scenario in which the Steelers can poach breakout defensive lineman Justin Madubuike from the Baltimore Ravens in spite of their shaky salary cap situation.

Going into the offseason, Pittsburgh are $4 million over the salary cap, so you wouldn’t think it would be able to sign a player of Madubuike’s caliber.

However, Gregson suggests that the Steelers convert the base salary of fellow defensive lineman Cam Heyward into a signing bonus, which would allow them to manipulate the cap in order to have enough room to snatch Madubuike away from the Ravens.

Gregson also mentions that Pittsburgh could outright release Heyward, which would open up $16 million in cap space, but the odds of that happening are slim to none given Heyward’s productivity and the fact that he is a fan favorite on top of that.

Madubuike is coming off of a spectacular 2023 campaign in which he played every game and racked up 56 tackles, 13 sacks and a forced fumble en route to his first Pro Bowl appearance and a Second-Team All-Pro selection.

The 26-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Texas A&M, was selected by Baltimore in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

He appeared in just 10 contests during his rookie campaign, logging 19 tackles and one sack. He showed limited growth in his sophomore year, tallying 36 tackles and a couple of sacks in 15 games. Then, in 2022, Madubuike showed his first signs of breaking through, registering 42 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

Of course, the Ravens could always just slap a franchise tag on Madubuike, which would make this entire exercise moot.

Want the latest NFL analysis, breaking news, and insider information? Click here. Interested in reading storylines and analysis about the NBA? Check out our partner NBA Analysis Network.

Share on Facebook
Share On Twitter

Browns’ GM Doesn’t Hold Back On Nick Chubb After New Deal

The Cleveland Browns restructured running back Nick Chubb’s contract this week, resulting in Chubb taking a major paycut. Chubb was originally slated to earn a

Cleveland Browns’ GM Sounds Off On Potential Cornerback Trade

Trade rumors have been swirling around Cleveland Browns cornerback Greg Newsome, prompting fellow corner Denzel Ward to recently plead for the Browns to hold on

Pittsburgh Steelers Trade For Intriguing Defender In Proposal

The Pittsburgh Steelers could use some extra depth in their secondary, and Noah Strackbein of All Steelers has proposed an interesting target for them. Cincinnati